1 in 8 couples face fertility struggles, and infertility can be a physically and emotionally draining process to endure. If you’ve experienced infertility, we are sending you some love and hope you can find some support during tough times! Keep reading to learn more about the different causes of infertility.
You are more likely to face infertility if you are over 37, smoke tobacco, have high alcohol consumption, are overweight or underweight, or don’t exercise enough.
Causes of female infertility:
Many women struggle with infertility as a result of a lack of quality ovulation. Menstrual or hormonal disorders can disrupt ovulation, and if you are not ovulating regularly, or once every cycle, it may be more difficult to get pregnant. Conditions such as PCOS, hyperprolactinemia, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism could all create hormonal imbalance, thus making it more difficult to regulate ovulation and conceive. Those with endometriosis may experience difficulty with ovarian and uterine function as well.
The shape of your uterus or cervix may make it more difficult for implantation to occur, thus increasing the risk of infertility and/or miscarriage. If large and widespread, uterine fibroids, which the majority of women develop at sometime in their life, can also prevent implantation of a fertilized egg as well.
Early menopause occurs when a woman endures symptoms of or experiences menopause before age 40. Menopause officially occurs after 12 consecutive months of not having a period. During perimenopause, women often have irregular cycles and don’t ovulate each month, thus making it more difficult to conceive.
Causes of male fertility:
Abnormalities associated with sperm production, function, and delivery are often causes of infertility as well. Genetic defects of sperm, diabetes, or STDs can impact the quality of sperm and make it harder to fertilize an egg. Premature ejaculation, cystic fibrosis, or other reproductive conditions can make infertility more likely.
In recent years, sperm counts have significantly dropped due to endocrine disruptors and other chemicals in the environment. Chemicals from plastics, pesticides, radiation, alcohol use, and frequent exposure to heat can change sperm production.
Although there are several different potential causes of infertility, it is important to remember that help is available if you seek it! Consult your doctor about which treatment options are best for you and your personal journey.